Fleetwood Mac’s songs span the full range of human emotion and pop expression, but the chances are that if you’ve danced to one at a wedding, it was written by Christine McVie. Everywhere, Little Lies, Don’t Stop, You Make Loving Fun – the band’s greatest joie de vivre was invariably channelled by her. And as her solo material is reissued on a new compilation this month, she joins us to answer your questions about her remarkable career – post them in the comments below.
McVie was grounded in the British blues scene of the mid-60s, duetting with Spencer Davis while studying at art school in Birmingham and playing in a local band, Sounds of Blue. She had a Top 20 hit with her next group, Chicken Shack, singing a cover of I’d Rather Go Blind, and came into the orbit of another set of British blues stars, Fleetwood Mac.
She married bassist John McVie, and started to add details to the band’s recordings: piano, backing vocals, and even the cover art for their fourth studio album Kiln House. She became a full member with 1971’s Future Games, and – amid a period of both great productivity and flux for the band – started to point them towards the pop-rock for which they would become globally famous. Her signature bright poignancy lights up McVie-penned songs such as Spare Me a Little of Your Love from Bare Trees (1972), Remember Me from Penguin (1973), and Just Crazy Love from Mystery to Me (1973), and she took lead vocal duties alongside Danny Kirwan and Bob Welch during this period.
The band settled into their imperial phase with the inclusion of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks who would share lead vocals with McVie, though their early hits in this lineup were still coming from McVie herself: her songs Over My Head and Say You Love Me both reached the US Top 20. The band went supernova with 1977’s eternally popular Rumours, with four McVie numbers – Don’t Stop, Songbird, You Making Loving Fun and Oh Daddy, plus the co-written The Chain – appearing on what has become one of the 10 biggest-selling albums of all time.
She was embroiled in the notorious emotional upheavals around the album – You Make Loving Fun was about an affair she was having with the band’s lighting director – and she and John McVie divorced, though the band continued with the pair of them. McVie got engaged to Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson, released a successful solo album in 1984, and then cemented Fleetwood Mac’s next superstar phase by writing two huge hit singles, Everywhere and Little Lies, for the 1987 album Tango in the Night, the latter with her new husband Eddy Quintela (they later divorced in 2003).
Aside from a brief mid-90s hiatus, the band have pressed ever onwards, though McVie took a long break between 1998 and 2014, before returning to a delirious reception for a Fleetwood Mac concert at London’s O2 Arena in 2015, and touring with the band ever since. Her solo material has sometimes been overlooked amid the stadium success of her main band, but gets a new outing this month with the compilation Songbird, which includes a new orchestral version of the title track, old solo tracks featuring Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton, highlights from 2004 album In the Meantime and two previously unreleased songs: Slow Down and All You Gotta Do.
Ahead of its release on 24 June, McVie, now 78, will answer your questions about her life and career – post them below and she’ll take on as many as possible.